High performing individuals come in every flavor. They can not be identified by looking at a resume! They can only be discovered by understanding who the person is,  the values they hold dear and the track record of the impact they have made in the past. Every day, your company loses money when you allow personal bias to influence your hiring decisions without proper evidence. Quite often, the strongest hire is not the person you envisioned for the role. 

Our guest today: Kelly Robinson, CEO of RedDotMedia.

He founded Broadbean.com Inc 2001, which was acquired by CareerBuilder in 2014. Now he lead RedDot Media, recruitment advertising agency with a particular skill in programmatic advertising campaigns. Kelly has spent the last 25 years in recruitment and recruitment technology, during which time he has grown, integrated, bought, and sold businesses in both the UK and US. 

Today we are discussing:

  • Why you need to consider hiring people over 45+
  • How to value wisdom & hire modern elders

Why don’t employers hire older people?

  • The person they are hiring probably has more experience than they do.
  • Oh, why would he want to work for me,
  • They have done my job for 20 years!
  • They don’t have the right degree.
  • Younger workers are better because: 
    • They have more energy.
    • They're more tech savvy.
    • They're more willing to give discretionary effort.
    • They'll work for us for the next 30 years.
    • They have less health problems.

The reality is younger workers have just as many problems as older workers.

  • Older workers are better because:

    • They don't have kids pulling them constantly off their game (Uh oh! Parent bias!)
    • While possibly not as tech savvy, they have experience in getting things done in different ways and they won't panic when the internet goes down for 15 minutes.
    • They grew up in a time when work life balance meant you worked until the job was done.
    • They're willing to by loyal to you for the next 7-10 years, which is more loyalty than you'll get from anyone else you hire.
    • Older workers statistically don't miss work more than younger workers.
  • In the next few years, 35% of our workforce will be 50 or older.
  • And 8% of them—about 13 million workers—will be 65 or older.
  • It’s hard to finance a 30-year retirement with a 40-year career - Chip Conley (Airbnb 52) 

The average duration of unemployment for older job seekers has dropped sharply since 2012 (though still long); it’s down from roughly 50 weeks to 34 weeks for job hunters age 55 to 64. In other words, it now typically takes about seven to eight months to find a job if you’re over 55.

About 29% of job seekers 55+ are considered long-term unemployed (looking for work for 27 weeks or more); while that’s still high, it’s down dramatically from roughly 45% in 2014

AARP surveyed 3,900 people age 45 and older, 61% said they’ve personally seen or experienced age discrimination. Among those who’ve applied for a job in the past two years, 44% were asked for potentially job-losing age-related information such as birth dates and graduation years It’s almost an acceptable bias. 

Why is this important to your company?

  • Older workers may be better because:

    • They don't have kids pulling them constantly off their game (Uh oh! Parent bias!)
    • While possibly not as tech savvy, they have experience in getting things done in different ways and they won't panic when the internet goes down for 15 minutes.
    • They grew up in a time when work life balance meant you worked until the job was done.
    • They're willing to by loyal to you for the next 7-10 years, which is more loyalty than you'll get from anyone else you hire.
    • We all miss work for stuff. Older workers statistically don't miss work more than younger workers.

The fastest-growing age demographic of employees in the workplace is 65 and older, which has experienced a 35% jump in numbers over the past half-decade. In the next few years, 35% of our workforce will be 50 or older. And 8% of them—about 13 million workers—will be 65 or older.

  • According the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, 22.2 percent of the workforce is 55 years old and over!
  • Research from the National Council on Aging has shown that modern elders have lower absentee and turnover rates than younger workers.
  • Ultimately, age will be less of a factor. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that those ages 65 and over will experience the fastest rates of labor force growth by 2024.
  • Many people who reach retirement age now are often healthy enough to run marathons, build houses 

Rick’s Nuggets

  • You can NOT tell if someone is good for your company via a resume! Anyone who says otherwise is delusional 
  • Recruiters/hiring managers filter people out
  • Ageism
  • Overqualified
  • Too expensive from a benefits perspective
  • Not technically aware- can't learn new skills (stereotyping!) 
  • Not the right educational experience
  • Not a cultural fit (fitting in with people in their 20’s)

How do we do it?  

  • Start valuing wisdom
  • Appreciate that you have no choice  
  • Promote diversity & inclusion… which includes AGE
    • D&I increases innovation
    • Productivity
  • Demand that those responsible for recruiting Talk to people everyone who is reasonably close
  • Eliminate educational barriers
    • Anyone over 5 years experience, ignore the educational background
  • Develop a phone screen process to gather evidence of success 
    • Judge viability by gathering accurate data
    • Take notes

Guest Contact:

Email: kelly@reddotmedia.co  

Twitter: @KellyJRobinson

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